Season’s Beatings

Wizzard can suck my glorious and elongated deftly painted shotgun.

“I wish” Roy Wood sang, in a 1970s explosions of crass, crazy and cocaine, “It could be Christmas every day”.

Three years ago I could have shared that sentiment. Two weeks off work, kicking back with a comfy jumper, warm mulled wine, partner of choice. Presents, dinner and all the relatives you could stand.

Now, Christmas is a focus of the kind of crazy my life has become.

This year not only has Krampus once again popped up his head from the place where we kicked his arse too last year, due norse, with the associated requirement to put his mum back to the ground. Not only has half the crap the Mayans attempted to pull a couple of years back returned (“Temporal Echos” say the experts back at HQ. By which I mean “guess the experts back at HQ) but even when someone invites me to see an opera it turns out to be in order to bring me up to speed on another threat to the national order.

And by “Bring me up to speed” I mean “Cause me to obtain a series of obscure references that might lead me in the right direction”.

Okay, so far so normal. I wouldn’t usually freak out so much about this, but it’s only a few days since I got back from Tokyo.

Tokyo was bad. Bad in an “I have the seen the future and it is black” way, bad in a “All roads lead to biblical threats” way, and bad in a “I’ve had to kill *far* too many things that once were human this week” way. Fighting unabashed monsters – even if they’re ginormous Ak’abs (and seriously, fuck Ak’abs) – feels like a holiday, and I hate that feeling so very much.

Some days of this, and then I’ll fly back to London and try to integrate with my family for a few days while they ask me about a) How my new job with this New York publisher is going, b) Are there any grandchildren on the way (There are a dozen layers to answering that question, none of them good, some of them fatal), c) Why I hardly ever speak to them anymore.

I suspect the answer that I hardly ever speak to anyone anymore will not help this.

So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun.


Excitment in New York

I should update here a bit more.

Apparently there was some kind of [GAS MAIN ISSUE] that was causing problems in Times Square, so my bosses in the [GAS MAIN COMPANY] said I should take a look. Nearly a dozen of us [GAS MAIN WORKERS] from all three [MAIN GAS SUPPLIERS] working together to defeat this [PROBLEM WITH THE GAS SUPPLY].

Lucky all of us were there, because soon after we arrived an *incredibly huge* [GAS EXPLOSION] came out of the ground, and laid waste to the surrounding area. Someone sent the army in to [HELP] the area, but in the meantime it was up to us to defeat the [PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE GAS EXPLOSION] as well as several people driven crazy by the [GAS].

After a few tries, we sent the [REPAIRED GAS MAIN] back where it belonged, deep in the earth.

Now I think I need a shower.

[What part of “tell nobody” did you fail to get? Fun fact: 85% of agents would not have survived this treason – KG]

It is abundantly clear that it’s not Ms Geary’s shoes that are at risk this evening. The Ankh, she says, referring to the combination Orochi research base and tar-pit deep in the deserts of Egypt, needs looking into. Today, I am her top agent. Today, it is my job. Yesterday it was someone else’s, and they are… not the top agent anymore. Such is advancement in the Illuminati. Being the top agent, I’m not stupid enough to go in alone.

As we descended deeper into the Ankh, the Filth on the walls got thicker. The lights are broken, the stairs are cracked, the employees of Oriachi who used to work here are… infected. But the radio tannoy system works, and there’s a dangerous lunatic on the DJ station.

He claims that daily doses of the filth have made him immune to it. Perhaps in the same way sufficient Vodka makes you immune to standing up.

He does appear to have control over those annoying purple orb things which seem to be able to disconnect me from my ability to wield anima. A strange feeling, and stranger still to describe to my former self, I suppose. Deeper we go.

Slow going though this tar stuff down the facility, especially with all the stairs out. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who _can’t_ fall a thousand feet with no ill effects.

My life before the bees was dull, but at least the spiders were less than twelve feet tall.

…and the bouncers less than a hundred feet. Good grief, my head’s barely to his big toe…

…when I objected to twelve foot high spiders, exchanging them for thirty foot high spiders made of filth was not the aim.

And back to the giant again.

What does it say about my life that I can file a report that says “Found ancient Atan temple. Orochi have Orochi’d all over it, and the scientist found the Filth and went native. Cleaned up, cleaned out. Suspect this might be where they found the box to use on Tokyo, may be worth a chat with the Kingdom.”

Anyway, all over now. Insert one rocket, and call me in the morning.

Holiday snap from my vacation in Egypt attached. I wish I’d thought to wear something other than white, but it does make me really appreciate the Illuminati dry cleaning service.


Dear diary.

It’s been two years since my last entry. This is because shortly after my last entry the notebook you were in was suddenly on fire, along with everything else I owned.

From memory, my last entry was on the Tokyo incident, and how it must be worse than it seemed. It was that it did not seem possible that they would have to shut down so much of Tokyo for so long, and the details were so sparse… I used the word Conspiracy, and laughed.

My first entry was after I got my first bike of my own, after years of borrowing my brother’s, and sped down the hill back towards home. I remember the entry – I’ve reread it so often over the years, and thought about it so many times recently – because on my way down I swallowed an insect. It hit the back of my throat as I screamed down the hill, and I coughed, and I swerved, and I nearly crashed, nearly died.

Two years ago I swallowed a bee.

And I coughed, and I swerved, and I crashed, and I nearly died.

I think the bee was a physical manifestation of Gaia, who was the personification of the earth in Greek mythology, and if you think that’s a strange statement, today’s going to be rough on you.

It… enfused me? with Anima. Anima is some kind of life force, and I still don’t know of what kind, but the bees were released as some kind of antibody, some kind of white blood cell reaction to what happened in Tokyo. Tokyo seems to have been an explosion of a different form of life force, or force, or something. Research into it called Anima the Life, and this stuff The Blood. or the Zero Point Pathogen. Mostly, though, it’s called the Filth. If Anima comes from inside the world, The Filth comes from outside. If Anima is light, Filth is black. Both seem sentiant, or communicative. Or, if I’m right, have aspects they use to talk. Anima uses the bees, the buzzing; The Filth has the black signal.

I don’t know, and I don’t understand, but I’m trying to.

One of the effects of being infused with this anima was that I’m immortal, in a sense. If I die, I come back at an Anima well, and can either reform in my corpse, healed whole, or anew at the well. This is fortunate, because it also gave me the tendency to set things around me on fire. It took me a week before I could leave my flat to learn how to control it, to direct it. By that point they had found me.

Three groups took an interest in those recruited by the bees. The Knights Templar are grand and ordered, the Dragon are terrifying and chaotic, the Illuminati are technological and self-centered. I don’t trust Chaos and prefer concrete to polished mahogany. I took the trip to New York and joined the eye.

I might go back over what I’ve seen later on. Solomon Island was weird, Egypt was complicated, and Transylvania was… stereotypical. But this week, we got the go-ahead to enter Kaiden, the area in Tokyo that the “bomb” hit.

And now I’m terrified.